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Endorsements for the Saturday, April 29, 2017 Election

24th April 2017   ·   0 Comments

It is Spring, and distractions abound. Yet, voting next Saturday is a critical responsibility, with a key Judgeship on the ballot in Orleans, and important funding streams for libraries, fire, and ambulances on the ballot in Jefferson Parish.

While our Editorial Board has often argued for concentrating all elections in the Autumn, when turnout would come more readily, politicians’ refusal to make that change provides no excuse to decide not to vote.

Orleans Parish Civil District Court, Division B: Rachael D. Johnson

We made our decision in the primary and nothing has changed. Rachael Johnson is a seasoned litigator with 12 years at the bar, and possesses a global knowledge of the law particularly on the property insurance matters that take up so much of the time of the Civil District Court. Her experience with the Civil District Court as a law clerk for Nadine Ramsey also serves her well. With all the recent changes at the Civil Court, Johnson’s knowledge of the inside workings of the building will come in handy for a judge seeking to fill the unexpired term of Regina Bartholomew-Woods.

PW (Library) — 6 1/2 Mills Renewal – PC — 10 Yrs.: Vote YES

Jefferson Parish enjoys one of the best public library systems in the state, and one that draws national attention. It’s main branches feel like Barnes & Noble (down to the coffee house at EBR), and up-to-date procurement means that the new releases are sitting on the shelves almost as soon as they hit the bookstores.

Voter refusal to renew this millage would end those amenities. The library system in Jefferson would cease to exist as the public knows it now. And, the vast services provided, from computer education to genealogy to taxation to writing, would stop as quickly as new releases would fail to be ordered. Please vote Yes.

Fire Protection Dist. No. 3 — 25 Mills – PC — 10 Yrs.: Vote NO

When Firefighters oppose a millage, the public should listen. For six decades, the Third Volunteer Fire District has protected parts of the East Bank of unincorporated Jefferson, and they have done a good job. So when they told voters to oppose the 25-mill property tax, our Editors listened.

This proposal would end the volunteer district’s sixty years of fire protection service. Drastically raising property taxes so that the Eastbank Consolidated Fire Department can expand beyond Metairie and Old Jefferson makes no sense, if there is a proven volunteer alternative.

Third District Fire Chief Brad Migliore noted, “Our position is that with the money the parish is collecting now, we can do the job… We can put on more full time manpower and we can still supplement it with volunteer firefighters and part-time firefighters. That’s our position.”

It is this newspaper’s as well. Please Vote No.

City of Gretna (Ambulance Service) – 4.00 Mills Renewal — M&CC — 10 Yrs.: Vote YES

Response times for Gretna Ambulances are amongst the best in the state, saving countless lives. To end this existing tax is literally to put your life and those of your loved ones in your hands, rather than a hospitals. When a heart attack or stroke comes, much less an auto or home accident, the comfort of knowing that an ambulance will soon appear, is incalculable. It is literally a question of Life or Death. Vote Yes.

City of Gretna (Fire Prot.) — 8.5 Mills Renewal – M&CC — 10 Yrs.: Vote YES

Gretna insurance rates are some of the lowest in the metro area due to its award-winning fire department. The David Crockett Steam Fire Company No. 1 is the oldest, continuously active, volunteer fire department in the United States of America. The department has a Class 2 — I.S.O. rating, responding to as many as 400 Rescue, Public Assistance and Mutual Aid requests in a year. With a combination of 18 paid and 138 volunteer firefighters, it does a tremendous job at a great price. To take away funding from this Department makes no sense. Vote Yes.

This article originally published in the April 24, 2017 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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